Undiscovered Islands in the Mediterranean to Attend This June

Do you want to travel to the Mediterranean but want to leave the island chains behind? If so, keep reading to learn about the fantastic surprise Mediterranean islands you should check out! Eddie from the Vanabond Tales presents this list of underappreciated territories in the Mediterranean to explore this summer. Each island in the Mediterranean is more stunning than the last, each more stunning than the last. However, while sites like Ibiza and Mykonos typically dominate the articles and the crowds, in my opinion, the most wonderful and genuine travel encounters take place far off the beaten path. Summertime recollections of hiking through windswept cliffs and olive groves to get unoccupied key coves enjoying lazy afternoons spent relaxing on a beach with pebbles, relaxing in the crystal-clear waters, and enjoying leisurely hour meals at a family-run restaurant in a sleepy village. Away from the masses, exorbitant restaurants, loud tourists, and watered-down beverages. Thankfully, there are many other worlds of Mediterranean territories out there that offer summertime experiences like these, which are not talked about by many individuals. Skip the typical tourist spots and travel on a less traveled path to some incredibly underappreciated islands this summer. Imagine, your personal stone house, walking down silent village lanes, having a seaside all to yourself, and enjoying traditional regional dishes without a tourist menu in sight. These are some of my favourite undercelebrated, unappreciated, and undervalued islands in the Mediterranean. islands that offer a true taste of native life and heaven. Folegandros, Greece Folegandros, GreeceThe second place on this list of underappreciated islands in the Mediterranean takes us to Greece. The Islands ‘ unsung hero is Folegandros. This rugged island, far from the hustle and bustle of Santorini, remains a source of peace with its preserved scenery and traditional Greek appeal. Take a boat from Piraeus and see the island’s dramatic cliffs rise substantially from the Aegean Sea. In the center of the area lies Chora, a town that seems frozen in time with its white-washed buildings and lively bougainvillea. The narrow roads lead you to the Church of Panagia, which is situated high above the city. Here, the dusk opinions over the great blue are absolutely unforgettable—no Instagram filters needed. Dining these means sipping the freshest seafood and nearby vineyards under the stars. Don’t lose trying matsata, a traditional dish typically served with local meat like hare, in a lovely taverna. The ideal combination of beautiful weather and quiet, away from the high season jump, can be found in May, June, and September. Tips and Recommendations Hidden Cove: Question a nearby about how to find the remote Agali Beach, a quiet place ideal for a relaxing afternoon. Local Happiness: To kick off your day, head to the village shop in the morning for some freshly cooked spanakopita and caffeine. Sunset Spot: Instead of the church, climb to Pounta Square for a unique sunset see Lastovo, Croatia Lastovo, CroatiaFar off the regular holiday way, Lastovo stands out as one of Croatia’s most secluded and enchanting islands. It provides a glimpse into a peaceful lifestyle that is surrounded by lush vegetation and spectacular night skies. By ferry, you enter a world that feels a bit stale in time, either in Split or Dubrovnik, which is accessible from the transportation hubs Split or Dubrovnik. Its designation as a nature park speaks to its lush biodiversity and state-of-the-art conditions. Venture through Lastovo village, where local life revolves around a charming cluster of medieval buildings, small churches, and traditional stone houses. The island’s timeless atmosphere has been preserved thanks to its long history as a small military outpost. For its devotion to Croatian traditional foods, especially seafood, Lastovo is well known. Experiment with the fresh catch of the day at a family-run konoba, where dishes are prepared using olive oil from farms on the island. Don’t forget to try Lastovo’s lobster, reputed to be some of the best in the Adriatic. To enjoy the mild weather and tranquility of the climate, plan your trip for late spring ( May to early June ) or early autumn ( September to October ). Local Secrets Stargazing: Thanks to its remote location, Lastovo offers some of Croatia’s best stargazing. Take a nighttime astronomy tour to view the sky in all its splendor. Hidden Trails: Explore the island’s network of trails that lead to secluded coves and beaches and offer breathtaking views of the Adriatic. Visit the annual carnival in Lastovo Poklad, where locals don elaborate costumes and perform traditional customs, for cultural reasons. In Lastovo, the old-world charm, coupled with the natural beauty of the land and sea, crafts a peaceful retreat that ’s perfect for those looking to escape the bustle of more frequented destinations. Symi, Greece Symi, GreeceSymi is a jewel in the Dodecanese, an island frequently overshadowed by its larger neighbor Rhodes, but it offers a palette of colors and an elegance that perfectly captures the true essence of a small Greek island. Rhodes ferry rides regularly make their way to Symi, giving visitors a picturesque introduction to its charming harbor, Gialos, which is characterized by its neoclassical mansions stacked up the hillsides like a vibrant amphitheater. The beauty of Symi lies in its ability to transport visitors back in time, like many of the unsung islands in medicine. Walk up the Kali Strata, a flight of 500 steps leading to the upper town of Chorio, where you can wander through narrow, winding streets and explore the ruins of old windmills and knights ’ castles. Symi is famous for its shrimp; Symi shrimp are tiny, aromatic, and best enjoyed fresh and simple. Tavernas around the harbor serve them with other local dishes like grilled octopus and moussaka, which pair beautifully with a glass of ouzo or local wine. Visit Symi in May, June, or September, October, are ideal times. In this secret Mediterranean island, you can avoid the high summer heat while still enjoying warm, pleasant days and cool evenings. Local Insights Secret Beach: Take a boat or a hike to reach Agios Nikolaos Stenou, a secluded beach tucked away from the usual tourist spots, where turquoise waters meet pebbly sands. Local Flavor: Visit the local bakery early in the morning to try fresh-baked Greek pastries. Evening Retreat: Don’t miss a sunset from the Monastery of Panormitis, located on the island’s southern coast, offering peaceful views as the sun dips below the horizon. Gozo, Malta Gozo, MaltaGozo, though part of the Maltese archipelago, marches to the beat of its own drum, offering a quieter, perhaps more authentic experience compared to its bustling sister island, Malta. Gozo, which is accessible by a quick ferry from Malta, is a haven of rural charm and mythical settings, and is said to be home to Homer’s Odyssey’s nymph Calypso. Its rugged landscape, dotted with baroque churches and ancient stone farmhouses, offers a tapestry of scenic walks and historical exploration. The coastlines boast some of the Mediterranean’s most beautiful waters for diving, especially around the Azure Window ruins, a famed but now collapsed natural arch. Inland, the Ġgantija Temples, some of the world’s oldest free-standing structures, demand a visit. Food in Gozo is a serious affair, with a focus on fresh ingredients like fish, cheese ( try the local ġbejna ), and honey. Make sure to visit one of the island’s farm-to-table restaurants before heading out. Local Recommendations Hidden Track: For hikers, explore the valley paths that lead to Wied il-Għasri, a gorgeously secluded inlet perfect for a quiet swim. Visit during the Nadur Carnival, an offbeat and spontaneous celebration known for its macabre and humorous costumes, unlike anywhere else in Europe. Artisan Finds: Check out the Ta’ Dbieġi crafts village where local artisans create hand-made pottery, glass, and lace—perfect for unique souvenirs. Porquerolles, France Porquerolles, FrancePorquerolles is one of the lesser-known islands in the French Riviera, offering a serene escape with its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush landscapes. The island is close to Hyères and accessible by a quick ferry ride from the French mainland. Once you arrive, the pace of life slows remarkably. Cars are rare, making bicycles the preferred mode of transport. This quiet, car-free environment enhances the island’s charm and allows the natural beauty to shine. The island, which is largely surrounded by a national park, has some of the most stunning beaches in France, such as Plage de Notre Dame, a perfect crescent of white sand framed by the azure sea. It also has spectacular trails that lead visitors through aromatic pine forests. The regional cuisine embodies the Mediterranean philosophy of simplicity and quality. Enjoy freshly caught seafood, visit a vineyard to pick up some figs and cheese for a beach picnic, or sample the local wine at a vineyard. Local Recommendations Hidden Gem: Seek out Calanque de l’Oeil de Verre by boat or on foot, be sure to get there early in the morning to enjoy it at its most tranquil. Morning Escape: Take in the view of the island and the Mediterranean while watching the sunset at Fort Sainte Agathe. Specialty Savor: Try a glass of the local ‘Vin de Porquerolles ’ at a small winery that practices sustainable viticulture, offering a taste unique to the island’s climate and soil. Procida, Italy Procida, ItalyProcida, the Bay of Naples ’ smallest and arguably most colourful island, offers a picturesque escape where the gelato hues of the buildings are almost as sweet as the dishes served within them. Procida, a short hydrofoil ride away from Naples, is a compact gem of vibrant architecture and serene surroundings. Unlike its busier neighbors, Capri and Ischia, Procida maintains a low profile, allowing its authentic charm to shine through. Take a stroll through the picturesque fishing village Marina di Corricella, where pastel-colored houses stack up against one another as if competing for the best sea view. Think seafood straight off the boat and into the frying pan; the culinary scene here is robust yet unpretentious. Linguine al Nero di Seppia ( Linguine al Nero di Seppia ), one of its kind, will make you wonder if you’re eating some gothic novel-sized sea creatures or pasta. Local Recommendations Beaches: The views and the food are the stars here, but take a dip at Chiaiolella Beach, which is where the locals typically go. Quirky Experience: If you’re in Procida during Holy Week, the Good Friday procession is uniquely atmospheric, featuring locals clad in ancient garb—no rehearsal, pure emotion. Local Flavor: Don’t leave without trying a scoop ( or three ) of lemon gelato, made with locally grown lemons that taste as if they’ve been plucked from the Garden of Eden. Kythnos, Greece Kythnos, GreeceKythnos, nestled in the Western Cyclades, may not be the marquee name on your Greek island bingo card, but it ’s certainly worth a detour for its low-key charm and thermal springs, which have been luring the bathrobe brigade for centuries. Kythnos is a haven for those looking to escape the more Instagram-famous Greek islands, which can be reached by ferry from Piraeus or Lavrio. Here, life unwinds at a donkey’s pace. The island features over 70 beaches, many accessible only by foot or by boat, offering plenty of “find your own cove” adventures, making this one of the best secret Mediterranean islands. Loutra hot springs are famous for allowing you to soak like an ancient Greek without suffering from any of the hardships of ancient Greece. The island’s capital, Hora ( or Messaria ), is a maze of white-washed alleyways, blue-domed churches, and squares that have hosted more gossip over the years than a reality TV show. Local Recommendations Hidden Gem: Visit the secluded cove of Apokrousi, one of the island’s largest beaches, often overlooked for more accessible spots. Culinary Tip: Try the local specialty, “sfougato, ” an omelet packed with local cheeses and meats, that answers the question, “ What would happen if a quiche went on a Greek island holiday? For a little evening entertainment, head to a traditional Greek taverna where the chances of joining an impromptu dance rise as the night goes on. Marettimo, Italy Marettimo, one of the Aegadian Islands off the western coast of Sicily, and one of the Mediterranean’s best-kept secrets, where the only traffic jam involves local goats meandering down the trails. Marettimo, the most remote of the Aegadian Islands, is accessible by ferry from Trapani and offers an unspoiled escape from modern life. For those who enjoy the great outdoors but detest crowds, its rugged terrain and crystal-clear waters are ideal. The island is dotted with hiking trails that take you past more than your typical history textbook, giving you breathtaking views of the Mediterranean and ruined buildings. The charm of Marettimo lies in its simplicity. There are no hotels, just a handful of guesthouses, making it feel like you’re staying with friends ( if your friends lived in stunning Italian island landscapes ). The waters around Marettimo are a diver’s paradise, rich with marine life and dotted with mysterious grottoes. Local Recommendations Hidden Gem: Explore the “Casa Romana, ” the ruins of an ancient Roman house, which apparently did n’t need any modern interior design magazines to look absolutely stunning. In a seaside cafe where the dress code is strictly forbidding anything more fancy than flip-flops, indulge in some freshly caught lobster. Adventurers: Rent a kayak and paddle to the “Grotta del Cammello, ” a sea cave that offers the brave with breathtaking azure waters and a quiet place to reflect on their travels. Djerba, Tunisia Djerba, TunisiaDjerba, often referred to as the “island of dreams, ” offers a captivating blend of Mediterranean charm and rich North African culture, making it a unique gem off the Tunisian coast. Accessible by a short flight from Tunis or via a causeway connecting it to the mainland, Djerba invites visitors into a tranquil world of whitewashed villages, palm-fringed beaches, and a vibrant cultural tapestry. The island’s history is marked by diverse influences, including Berber, Arab, and Jewish, which are reflected in its architecture, cuisine, and traditions. Explore Houmt Souk, the main town, where bustling markets brim with local crafts, spices, and jewelry. The town also hosts several historic synagogues, including the famous El Ghriba, one of the oldest in Africa. For those who love to go swimming, Djerba offers sandy stretches like Plage Sidi Mahrez and Plage de la Seguia, which are ideal for sunbathing and water sports. I promised the underrated islands in the Mediterranean, right? One of the best is Djerba! Local Recommendations Hidden Gem: Visit the lesser-known Flamingo Island during springtime, when it becomes a haven for migrating pink flamingos – a spectacular sight against the backdrop of blue skies and turquoise waters. Culinary Tip: Indulge in a traditional couscous dish at a local taverna, where it ’s served with fresh seafood caught straight from the Mediterranean. Cultural Insight: Take part in the Ulysses Festival if you’re visiting in summer, which celebrates the island’s mythical connection to Homer’s epics through music and theater performances. Formentera, Spain Formentera, SpainFormentera, the smallest of the Balearic Islands, is often overshadowed by its more glamorous sibling, Ibiza. For those who are curious, Formentera offers tranquil beaches and a laid-back vibe that is worlds away from the party scene. Formentera, a sanctuary of tranquility with crystal-clear waters and more than 20 km of white sandy beaches, is accessible by ferry from Ibiza. Due to its well-maintained ecosystems and bike paths, which make exploring simple and enjoyable, the island is also popular with nature enthusiasts. Visit the Ses Salines Natural Park, known for its spectacular salt flats and rich biodiversity, including flamingos. The beaches, such as Playa de Illetes and Playa de Migjorn, are perfect for sunbathing, snorkeling, and enjoying sunset views. Local Recommendations Hidden Gem: Explore the less crowded Caló des Mort, a beautiful cove with turquoise waters ideal for a peaceful swim. Culinary Tip: Don’t miss trying the local seafood dishes, especially the baked octopus, at a beachside chiringuito. For breathtaking views and an unforgettable sunset, head to Cap de Barbaria Lighthouse. The Karpas Peninsula, Cyprus The Karpas Peninsula, CyprusThe Karpas Peninsula is known for its untouched nature, golden beaches, and the Karpas National Park, which covers much of the area. This area offers a remote escape with some of the island’s most stunning landscapes and is accessible by car from the main cities in Northern Cyprus. The Apostolos Andreas Monastery and numerous ancient sites are located on the peninsula, including wild donkeys. The beaches, such as Golden Beach, are expansive and often nearly empty. Local Recommendations Hidden Gem: Explore the ancient city of Karpasia, near the tip of the peninsula, which dates back over 2,000 years. Culinary Tip: Enjoy fresh fish at a local taverna, especially the grilled sea bream, a regional specialty. Find a private stretch of Golden Beach for a swim and sunbathing experience. Gökçeada, Turkey Gökçeada, the largest island in Turkey and one of the best underrated Mediterranean islands, offers a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage, attracting those looking to explore its secluded bays, organic agriculture, and the remnants of its diverse historical influences. This island is known for its rugged landscapes and designation as a protected environmental area, and is accessible by ferry from Anakkale. Its slow-paced lifestyle and commitment to organic farming make it a special place for eco-conscious travelers to visit. Explore the charming villages like Tepeköy and Zeytinliköy, which are known for their traditional stone houses and narrow, winding streets. The beaches, such as Aydıncık Beach and Gizli Liman, are perfect for those seeking solitude and natural beauty, with crystal-clear waters and protected coves. Local Recommendations Hidden Gem: Visit the lavender fields in bloom in early summer, a less-known but incredibly picturesque aspect of the island. Culinary Tip: Sample some of the island’s organic products, especially its honey and olives, which are some of the best in the region. Secret Spot: Visit Marmaros Waterfall after a spring rain when it is at its best and the area is lush and green. Conclusion Each of these secret Mediterranean islands offers a unique charm, a quiet cove, or a cultural gem that is n’t plastered all over your social media feeds … yet. So why not swap the overused for the overlooked and the familiar for the fantastic this summer? These locations invite you to leave the traditional tourist trails behind and forge memories in areas where the paths are less traveled, from the tranquil waters of Formentera to Gökçeada’s organic fields. So pack your bags, grab a map, and set your sights on any of these underrated islands. Whether you’re sipping locally produced wine under the stars in Bozcaada, exploring ancient ruins in Karpas, or enjoying the slow rhythms of life in Lastovo, each island promises not just a getaway, but a true escape. Discover the vibrant histories woven through the quiet streets and wild landscapes by diving into the clear waters, dining on the freshest of the menu, and dining on the best of the best. And, discover an adventure into the heart of the Mediterranean’s hidden beauty. Who knows—perhaps you’ll find your own secret island to return to, year after year. About the author: Eddie is the author and creator of The Vanabond Tales, a travel blog focused on slow travel and minimalist travel adventures that are budget-friendly, outdoor-focused, and environmentally conscious. You’ll currently find him and his wife Kelli, aboard their little sailboat, Whisper, sailing the Mediterranean. He can be found on both YouTube and Instagram. Photo sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 More amazing articles for you: